Baylor prof offers resources for learning more about African American history
February is Black History Month, a time for intentionally recognizing the contributions that African Americans have made to our nation’s history. Sure, we learned the basics about Frederick Douglass and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in school — but there are so many other people and stories that aren’t as well known, but deserve to be heard. Learning more about them can enrich what we already know about the United States.
Dr. Ronald Johnson is the Ralph and Bessie Mae Lynn Chair of History at Baylor, focusing in his studies on early U.S./African American history, especially diplomacy and religion. This semester, he’s teaching a 3000-level course on the “History of Black Americans.” We asked him to share some resources with the Baylor Family for those who are wanting to learn more about African American history; he suggested the books, websites and other resources below.
“These are accessible forms of media that really add texture to American history — expanding stories with which people are already familiar,” Johnson explains. “Black history is often siphoned off as a side narrative; these stories enrich all of our understandings of what it means to be American. I hope readers come away with new questions to ask, and new curiosity about American history. These histories show how strong our republic is, how durable American democracy is, and how freedom is dynamic and constantly changing.”
- Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story (Martin Luther King Jr.)
- Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge (Erica Armstrong Dunbar)
- A Black Women’s History of the United States (Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross)
- Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X (Randy Roberts & Johnny Smith)
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Ibram X. Kendi)
- National Museum of African American History & Culture Blog (Smithsonian)
- Black Perspectives (African American Intellectual History Society)
- Slave Voyages (interactive history of international slave trade)
- Colored Conventions Project (Penn State University)
- Freedom Narratives (testimony of West Africans from the era of slavery)
- Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade (joint database of details on the lives of those enslaved)
- Texas Slavery Project (University of Virginia)
- Texas Runaway Slave Project (Stephen F. Austin University)
- Center for Antiracist Research (Boston University)
- Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing (Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta)
- The Witness, Inc. (Jemar Tisby)
Sic ’em, Black History Month!